After studying A-Levels, Aston went on to read Film Studies. Graduating with a First Class Honours, Aston moved to the US to work in the film industry and has just completed his Master's Degree in the field at King's College, London.
Why did you choose to come to Seevic College?
When I left school I was not entirely sure what career path I wanted to pursue, so I decided to study a variety of A-Levels in Law, Psychology, Government & Politics, and Film Studies. The structure of the A-Level programme at Seevic allowed me to explore my potential in multiple fields and keep my options open.
What did you most enjoy about being a student with us?
Seevic was a wonderful place to study. The college was conveniently located with good transport links, just a short bus ride from my house; the teaching and library facilities were good, and there were some great social spaces around the site both inside and out. Having places to socialise with your friends is crucial, particularly during exam periods where you will need to be able to relax and unwind after a hard day of hitting the books.
What did you most enjoy about your course(s)?
I thoroughly enjoyed all of my A-Level classes, however, I was most impressed with my course in Film Studies. I originally took the subject without knowing a great deal about film beyond my occasional trip to the cinema; but the course was taught with such passion that it ignited my own interest in the field.
One thing I particularly enjoyed about Seevic's programme is that there is a practical element to the course: in addition to exploring the history of film theory, you actually have the opportunity to make your own short films as part of the A-Level’s graded assessment. Film Studies at Degree level is conventionally taught as 100% theoretical, but Seevic’s hybrid structure worked so well for my learning style that, when applying to universities, I actively made sure that their programmes contained the option for a practical element too.
How was life at Seevic different to being at school?
The transition between school and college can be a bit of a shock at first, you will find yourself in a position of increased independence and you will be expected to do a considerable amount of additional work in your own time. Do not let this daunt you though, the freedom and flexibility that comes with college can be quite liberating and highly rewarding.
How did your tutors, or other college staff, help you to support your success?
The staff at Seevic identified that I suffer from quite severe forms of both dyslexia and dyspraxia, a diagnosis missed by all my previous academic institutions. The college was incredibly supportive and offered a programme of personal development to supplement my learning disabilities. All of my course tutors were both respectful and inspiring.
"Do not enrol on a course simply because your parents think that you should, or because your friends are doing the same thing."
What are you doing now/looking to do next?
After Seevic I went on to study at Kingston University, London: while there, with a collective of fellow students, I founded an international film festival. In 2014 I moved to the United States where I worked in the film industry in various capacities and at all levels of production. I moved back to the United Kingdom last year in order to read for my Master’s Degree at King’s College, London, which I have just completed. In the immediate future I am likely to look for work in London based film studios or on the film festival circuit.
What is your ideal job in the future?
I see my future career path straddling both academia and the film industry. Eventually I intend to read for a PhD and go on to teach Film Studies at Degree level.
What advice would you offer to someone thinking about studying at Seevic?
When I began my Undergraduate Degree university tuition cost approximately £3250 a year, but that fee is currently at £9000 a year and likely to rise further in the very near future, education is a precious commodity and should not be taken for granted. Under UK law it is now compulsory for English teenagers to remain in some form of education until 18 and this should be viewed as an opportunity.
Seevic offer programmes to cater for everybody: whether you decide to study A-Levels, a BTEC, or an Apprenticeship they should have something to suit you. My advice would be that you should study something that interests you; do not enrol on a course simply because your parents think that you should, or because your friends are doing the same thing.
Would you recommend Seevic?
I owe a great deal to my time at Seevic, all of my achievements since are the result of a passion for my field which I first found during my A-Levels.
I would highly recommend Further Education to anybody who wishes to open doors to opportunity in their life: Seevic is a welcoming, professional, and highly supportive place to begin your journey.
Top Tips from Aston
- BTEC courses and Apprenticeships can be a fantastic way of introducing yourself to a field if you already know what type of career you intend to pursue; if however, you are not yet entirely sure of your intentions then an A-Level programme can allow you to explore multiple pathways before committing.
- Education is far more valuable than simply the qualifications you gain along the way. Education can develop our skills and knowledge in specific areas, but more importantly, it gives us a deeper understanding of the world around us and allows for personal development. Studying at college level will equip you with a set of preliminary tools to help when finding your independence; it will teach life skills which are essential regardless of whether you choose to go on to Higher Education or if you go straight into work following your time at Seevic. Enter college with an open mind and a willingness to learn from those around you.